Soviets Reportedly Stick to Position on Mideast Conference
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Soviets Reportedly Stick to Position on Mideast Conference

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Sources close to the United States Mission to the United Nations here said Wednesday that the Soviet Union had nothing new to offer regarding resumption of diplomatic relations with Israel, broken off by Moscow 20 years ago.

They were referring to the talks Tuesday between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Murphy, the Reagan Administration’s top expert on the Middle East, and his Soviet counterpart, Vladimir Polyakov.

The sources confirmed that the pair discussed prospects for an international conference for Middle East peace as well as the situation in the Persian Gulf and the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

Sources told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Soviet view is that relations with Israel can be reestablished only within the context of global changes, meaning an overall peace settlement in the Middle East.

No new elements regarding Soviet Jews were raised by the Soviet diplomat, the sources said.


They said Murphy was told that the USSR wants Syria to participate in a Middle East peace conference. The Soviet Union itself wants to be present at the opening, but would not apply pressure nor interfere in any way with the talks between the parties.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who is due here Thursday, is expected to meet with Murphy, who is Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. Murphy will report on his talks with Polyakov. According to sources here, Peres also will meet with a Soviet diplomat, either Polyakov or Yuli Voronsov, the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister.

In addition, Peres will have discussions with President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, who is due here Wednesday. Both will meet Thursday with UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar. Mubarak will meet with Murphy and with French President Francois Mitterrand.

The diplomats are gathering here for the opening of the conference of the United Nations Trade and Development Agency July 9-31.

Murphy and Polyakov met for the third annual U.S.-Soviet discussions on the Middle East, an exchange of views decided on during the 1985 summit meeting between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

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